On the Mend: The Gall Bladder is Gone

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Blog entry by Mark A. DeCou posted 03-09-2007 04:19 PM 1063 reads 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

It has been an interesting couple of weeks. I haven’t felt like sitting up at the computer all week, so this morning is my first time back since Monday Night. I received several emails from folks that my wife relayed to me, wishing me well, and that has been a great comfort to me, and I appreciate how a little website like this can make connections between people like us that are memorable and important in our lives. Don’t underestimate the importance of a short note of encouragement to someone, it has helped me.

Tuesday afternoon after the surgery, my wife called the hospital to see how I was doing. I was planning on telling her to log into lumberjocks for me and post a short note that I survived and was recovering, but before I could tell her that, she said that Karson had phoned and inquired about how I was doing, and he said that he would post something to say I was doing ok. What a warm feeling that gave me, and I appreciate Karson, and the rest, for caring and showing concern. I think my wife was pretty surprised to see the concern.

so here’s another one:
“If you get a phone call by another woodworker you have never shaken hands with, inquiring about your health after surgery…, joyfully, might be a lumberjock.”

Realizing that I needed to go to the hospital for the first time since I was born, more than 43 years ago, played with my mind some. Also, being self employed and understanding that when I’m not working, there is no money coming in, compounded my mental flurries. Then the third “whammy” is the cost of medical help. We have health insurance, but since all of us have been so healthy, we took a high deductible to get our monthly payments down. The $5,000 deductible seemed fine until I realized how much that is to pay, and how expensive minor surgery can be these days. Then, a lady from church assured me that gall bladder issues could be fixed by drinking a home concoction based in apple juice and that I should cancel my surgery until I tried it. I heard about this antidote two days before the surgery. Throw all that together, add some drama, and it was an interesting couple of weeks.

I elected to go through the surgery, so Tuesday morning early I headed into the surgical hospital. Gall bladder issues are fairly common in our culture, and I don’t know why, but there has to be some reason. Two of the nurses that cared for me admitted to having their gall bladders removed by the same surgeon, and that it would all go well. It was comforting, and they were able to tell me what to expect.

The great news for me was to hear late Tuesday night that my gall bladder had a “sludge” in it with some granular material that was working itself into stones, but there were no polyps, and nothing to worry about with any risk of cancer. That was the best news I had gotten for a long while, and then I was able to rest and work on getting better.

Recovery has been just as expected, some pain, but no infection, or problems. I am to be off work until next Wednesday, and so I get a “vacation” whether I wanted one or not.

Thanks again to all of you for your concern,
healing up,

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

16 comments so far

View Obi's profile


2213 posts in 3658 days

#1 posted 03-09-2007 05:03 PM

I just sent up a prayer or two when ever you came to mind. I knew you were going to be o.k. Glad to have you back…well almost back.

Oh, and send us that concoction with the juice.

View Ethan Sincox's profile

Ethan Sincox

766 posts in 3595 days

#2 posted 03-09-2007 05:18 PM

So glad to hear you’re doing better. The only piece of advice I can offer you is to not push it too hard.

My dad always tries to push his recovery time to the limits, and he ends up worse off than he was before. Just take your time and let your body heal up properly.

You’ve got all kinds of prayers going out for you. Keep on healing.

-- Ethan,

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 3735 days

#3 posted 03-09-2007 05:23 PM

Take care of yourself

View David's profile


1970 posts in 3560 days

#4 posted 03-09-2007 05:27 PM

Mark -

Glad to hear you are doing well after surgery. Looking forward to a return of your prolific postings and wonderful work! You are in our prayers.



View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 3721 days

#5 posted 03-09-2007 05:40 PM

We’re glad to to see you back in print again. You caused us some great concern.
We’ll still be praying for you.
Dick, & Barb

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Martin Sojka's profile

Martin Sojka

1893 posts in 3894 days

#6 posted 03-09-2007 05:46 PM

Take care, Mark. Finally you’re back ;)

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 3582 days

#7 posted 03-09-2007 05:48 PM

Take it easy and get well. That is your most important goal right now.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

View Dollarbill's profile


91 posts in 3559 days

#8 posted 03-09-2007 06:08 PM

Glad everything went well Mark. I have been thinking of you and miss your comments and wisdom.


-- Make Dust

View Dusty's profile


785 posts in 3577 days

#9 posted 03-09-2007 08:22 PM


I’m glad things went well and you are out and healing.

God Bless.

-- Dusty

View Max's profile


55996 posts in 3694 days

#10 posted 03-09-2007 10:33 PM


It is nice to have you back and I am so glad that you are doing well. I believe that all of the Lumberjocks thoughts were with you. Welcome back….

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View Karson's profile


35032 posts in 3822 days

#11 posted 03-09-2007 10:38 PM

Mark It was good talking to you and hearing you voice. Sometimes saying “Let me catch my breath!”

I’m glad that you are able to set up for a little while and send everyone a note.

God Bless you brother.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 3598 days

#12 posted 03-10-2007 12:42 AM

Mark, all of the above.

I think Ethan has it right. There is no point in rushing back to work unless you are fully recovered. There are no LumberJock macho point for getting back to your shop before your body tells you that you can. Rest up, brother, and let God do His full work of healing in your body.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 3748 days

#13 posted 03-10-2007 01:47 AM

Welcome home… rest up, we’re looking forward to more posts and projects when your ready.

What a great community we have!

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 3582 days

#14 posted 03-10-2007 01:59 PM

Obi.. don’t look..
when you told of Karson checking in before you could even ask…. I had tears in my eyes..

Welcome back; glad that everything is OK… and yes, take your time…

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Jeff's profile


1011 posts in 3515 days

#15 posted 03-14-2007 08:07 PM


I’m new to this site and have no raport with you but wanted to say I’m glad you made it through you surgery ok for what it’s worth. I feel somewhat of a kindred spirit in that I’m at home recovering from a hernia operation myself… It doesn’t compare to your surgery but I can definitely relate to not feeling like doing much of anything. I’ve decided to spend my spare time here for now. I have managed to while away the better part of this day on the site reading about our community. It’s a pretty good bunch, I have to say.

I hope you have a continued and speedy recovery.

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

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